System Requirements

Whether you're installing Comet for the first time or bringing an existing installation up to date, there are some important considerations. The information on this page should help you prepare so that your installation goes as smoothly as possible.

Your Windows Version
The first thing to investigate is the version of Windows running on each computer in the Comet network. The following chart shows which Comet products are compatible with which versions of Windows. Those versions of Windows which are not shown are not supported.


Windows2000 WindowsXP Pro Windows2003 Server Windows Vista Windows2008 Server Windows 7 Windows2008 Server R2 Windows 8 Windows2012 Server Windows 10
Comet98 Yes No No No No No No No No No
Comet2000 Yes No No No No No No No No No
Comet2002 Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
Comet2003 Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
Comet2004 Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No
Comet2005 Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No
Comet2006 Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No
Comet2007 Yes Yes Yes 32-bit only 32-bit only No No No No No
Comet2008 Yes Yes Yes 32-bit only 32-bit only No No No No No
Comet2009 Yes Yes Yes 32-bit only unless Comet32 32-bit only unless Comet32 No No No No No
Comet2010 Yes Yes Yes 32-bit only unless Comet32 32-bit only unless Comet32 32-bit only unless Comet32 32-bit only unless Comet32 No No No
Comet2011 and Comet2012 No Yes Yes 32-bit only unless Comet32 32-bit only unless Comet32 32-bit only unless Comet32 32-bit only unless Comet32 No No No
Comet32 2013 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Comet32 2014 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Comet32 2015 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Comet32 2016 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Comet Server Products No Yes Yes vsn 8.04 or higher only vsn 8.04 or higher only vsn 8.04 or higher only vsn 8.04 or higher only vsn 12.00 or higher only vsn 12.00 or higher only vsn 15.00 or higher only

Your Security and File Servers
Now you're ready to identify which computer will host your Security Server and File Server. Comet security is managed through the use of a serialized USB token installed on the designated server. This in combination with a license certificate issued by Signature Systems provides access to the Comet software.

The computer you select as the Security Server must be accessible via TCP/IP from each client computer. Note that the clients need not have Windows access to the data. This will be handled via the Comet File Server so you can maintain whatever level of restricted access is necessary to protect your data.

Your Security Server should also have an available USB port to accommodate the security token. If there is no such port or you are already in possession of the older parallel port security dongle, you will instead need a free parallel port configured at one of the following addresses: 0x0378, 0x0278, 0x03BC, 0x1278, or 0x1378. Note that these dongles are being phased out. Newer systems often do not come equipped with parallel ports, the hardware interface may have changed, and there may be problems sharing the port with a printer. Use of the USB token is highly recommended.1

Each Comet client will require access to one or more Comet File Servers. Be certain that your license certificate includes one Comet license and as many File Server licenses as are required for each client. For example, if a client will access 2 file servers it will need 2 file server licenses.2,3,4

Ideally you will always be running the most recent versions of Comet and the Security and File Server. If however you find yourself in a situation where you must run an older version of Comet there are additional considerations before installing the Security and File Server.

To determine which version of the Security Server is required you must consider 2 things:

  • When was your license certificate generated?
  • What is the newest version of Comet that will run in this network?5

Open the license.txt file in a text editor. The date the certificate was generated appears near the top. Certificates generated after September 25, 2003 require Security Server version 3.06 or higher. This version supports Comet versions through Comet 2004. If you will be running a version newer than Comet 2004 you will need a newer version of the Security Server.6

The most important consideration when choosing the version of the File Server is the oldest version of Comet that will run in this network. Prior to the introduction of Comet's CFAM File System (known as type "C" directories) CometServe32 directories were configured as type "S". This directory type has been phased out in favor of CFAM. The last version of the File Server to support type "S" directories is version 5.08. Therefore, if you will be running a version of Comet older than Comet 2005 you cannot use a version of the File Server newer than 5.08. All other installations should configure their directories as type "C" and install the latest version of the File Server unless there's a compatibility statement in the release notes for that version.

The Utilities
Since Comet 2005 the Comet Explorer utilities have been included as part of the Comet release. Supplementary utilites are released in the REL and UTL directories. When selecting a version of these utilities for your installation it is important to choose ones that are compatible with the version of Comet you'll be running.

To make this decision, look at the release date on the download page for the REL and UTL zip files. Choose one with a release date at or before the release date of your Comet version. Utility features sometimes require features introduced at particular versions of Comet. Attempting to run versions of REL or UTL built after your version of Comet could cause unpredictable results.

Notes
1. The USB token may only be used on a Windows computer. It may not be used on a NetWare computer. If you were using the NLM to provide your Comet security, you will have to choose a Windows computer in the network to serve as the Security Server and put the USB token on that. You may continue to use the NetWare server as a file server. However it was only beginning with Comet 2003.327 that the Security Server secured and displayed NLM licenses. Older versions of Comet using the NLM may not secure properly.
2. A standalone, single-user Comet client who accesses only the files on its local disks does not require a file server license.
3. A Comet Anywhere host with all of its client sessions counts as just one Comet client for each file server it accesses.
4. Older versions of Comet allowed file sharing via Microsoft's peer-to-peer networking. This was referred to as using "type N" directories. There were limitations to this implementation. Comet could not have total control over issues such as record locking and restricting a client's access to server files. These limitations are serious enough now that we have phased out this file access method. Beginning with Comet 2008 type "N" configurations are no longer allowed.
5. We recommend that all clients in a network be running the same version of Comet.
6. One further complication is that the USB drivers supplied by the vendor of the token are updated as required to support new versions of Windows. If you install an old version of the Security Server you may not get a version of the USB driver that supports the newest versions of Windows. In this case you may be able to get the latest USB drivers through the Microsoft Windows Update facility.

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